Three quick things from UK’s 76-42 win over Transy:
1. Not good enough. That was John Calipari’s post-game message, one he gave first to the team and then the media. The words energy and effort were used quite a bit. Kentucky was never any danger of losing, mind you, but the Cats didn’t play with much fire or intensity. First game jitters, even for an exhibition game? Could be. But Cal made it known he wants improvement and fast. Two practices Saturday. Two practices Sunday. Game Monday.
(FYI: My column off the game says that this game was just what Calipari ordered.)
2. Derek Willis back to earth. After a standout performance in the Blue-White scrimmage on Tuesday, Willis was one of the first subs in the game tonight, but he couldn’t replicate his earlier showing. He ended up scoring six points in 10 minutes.
“Derek gave up more than he scored,” Calipari said. “He scored a couple baskets, but he gave up like 11 points. You can’t give up 11 and score 4. You can give up 11 if you score 20. You can’t score 6 and give up 11. You can’t be in the game. We left corners, we left shooters. The only way they could beat us is shooting threes. How many games are we going to play this year that that’s what they’re going to do?”
3. Big-time credit to Transylvania. Even with 13 freshmen, Brian Lane’s team didn’t wilt under the spotlight of playing a team with the greatest freshmen class of all-time (say some). With 11:17 to go in the first half, Kentucky’s lead was just 21-17. With 3:31 left before halftime, Kentucky was up 36-27.
True, the Pioneers scored just 12 points as UK tallied 35. But Transy showed it has a tough team that can make some three-pointers — six-of-18 in the first half — and should cause quite a few problems for opponents in Division III.
- Herald-Leader photo gallery from UK-Transy
- Money from exhibition makes tremendous difference for Transy
- Transy men warm up with a walk to Rupp